A thrilling UFC Vegas 36 fight night is in the books. The UFC Apex hosted a total of nine bouts on the night, with one man, in particular, stealing the show for his supporters who watched on across the pond. The early start in Vegas didn’t seem to faze the athletes, with the fight card providing five stoppages.
The night consisted of explosive action throughout, dominant performances, upsets, controversy and more importantly, the birth of Paddy Pimblett’s UFC journey.
We can’t start without talking about Derek Brunson. Talk about a man on a mission. Brunson finished Darren Till in the third round of the main event, making a statement and leaving him within touching distance of challenging for the middleweight title. Brunson used his wrestling credentials to his advantage and looked dominant doing so. Till couldn’t find his feet and had no answer, although he did land one crisp left hand, which left Brunson dazed just before he was submitted. Last nights victory marks five on the bounce for Brunson. His work to the title contention was flying under the radar. I know feel he has a legitimate claim.
The co-main event featured another team Kaobon prospect in Tom Aspinall, who made light work of Moldova’s Sergey Spivac in the first round. Landing a clean elbow down the pipe on the break, then followed it up with destructive ground and pound. While Aspinall has stated he’s in no rush and wants to take things slow, he will be fighting for gold very soon if he keeps these performances up.
Some notable mentions to Marc-André Barriault, who opened up the card with a boxing clinic, hunting the finish and going to war in the pocket with Dalcha Lungiambula. Despite having an injury to deal with, Jack Shore showed up like a true professional and grinded out a decision win over Liudvik Sholinian. After her performance, Molly McCann gained a truck load of fans, jumping back into the win column and earning a $50,000 bonus. Liverpool’s own is game as they come.
Speaking of Liverpool and last but not least. Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett. A debut to remember for the Scouser. One of the most highly anticipated debuts in a very long time, and the twenty-six-year-old took it all in his stride. That said, “The Baddy” faced some early adversity eating a powerful left hook from Luigi Vendramini, which buckled him for a moment. Still, Pimblett was able to stay composed, apply pressure, and get Vendramini out of there first. Not bad for a grappler, right?
After the UFC Vegas 36 card had finished, I asked my followers on Twitter to send in their best questions and talking points on the event.
UFC Vegas 36 Twitter Mail Bag
@TheFightQueen – After such a successful debut, what’s next for Paddy the Baddy?
A debut to remember, that’s for sure. I definitely think Pimblett should take the Tom Aspinall approach. Slow and steady wins the race. Dana shouldn’t feed him to the lions straight away. It would be incredibly stupid. Let him find his feet, start him off slow and keep upping the competition every time. Let the hype train build, let the arenas fill in the UK. If the UFC take the intelligent approach, they could make a ton of money from Pimblett. He has it all.
They fed Till to the elite far too quickly, and look how that ended up. They UFC miss the trick here. As much as I love Pimblett, I don’t think he’s ready to go take on the top guys in the division just yet.
@UndercardPod-With a lot of fantastic upcoming talent on the show tonight. Which British fighter do you see as having the best shot at UFC gold?
Great question, and I don’t have a pinpoint answer on this one. I feel MMA in the UK is the brightest it’s ever been. We have fighters competing worldwide now, finally catching up with the US. So many bright prospects. I would have always said Darren Till. However, after last night it’s going to be some time before we see Till challenge for gold again.
I’ll pick three who I have high hopes to secure gold soon. Jack Shore at bantamweight has looked impressive. I can see him fighting for belts soon. Also, Leon Edwards if he finally gets his opportunity. If Usman decides to move up a division, it leaves the welterweight division wide open. Lastly, Tom Aspinall, his fight IQ and mobility for a man so big is incredible. He would be my best bet on earning gold next for the UK.
@teddykavanagh – Is Derek Brunson underrated or is Darren Till overrated?
Before last nights win, I would say Derek Brunson is definitely underrated and underappreciated. I think people are now paying attention. If you look at the body of work recently and the names he’s been in there with, it should tell you he’s for real. He needed that statement win last night to show people he means business.
In terms of Darren Till, its a tricky one for me. He is capable of big things. He has the tools. I think it’s just a mental block sometimes with Till. He’s stood toe to toe with the best in the division in extremely close fights. Wonderboy and Whittaker for example. It’s in his locker. He just struggles to get it going under the bright lights consistently.
Darren Till has been heavily reliant on his left hand recently, just throwing 1-2’s over and over. There have not been many combinations other than the fundamentals, which is frustrating as he is a talented striker. He has deadly kicks, which he only started throwing in the third and had some success. Nasty elbows and knee’s, but we just aren’t seeing it.
The UFC pushed Till too quickly, and he has had to adapt rapidly among the elite of the elite. At twenty-eight, he has plenty of time to achieve greatness still.
@DavidMacc_ – Who would you like to see Jack Shore fight after yet another stellar performance?
Shore has been fantastic. Still undefeated and looking stronger and stronger when he’s in there. Looking at the top 15 and the rankings, there are some tough but winnable fights for the Welshman. He’s not just a one-trick pony either, incredibly well rounded and composed inside the cage. In terms of opponent, It’s hard to pick. I want to see Shore get an opportunity. I wouldn’t be against Jack Shore vs Sean O’Malley.
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